How become Resident in Ecuador ?

How to get Ecuador permanent residency 

Ecuador visa information 

How do I become resident of Ecuador ? How Long can you stay in Ecuador without a visa ? And most important how much money do you need to retire in Ecuador ?


Obtaining a residency in Ecuador is pretty simple today. Ecuador from 2019 is issuing only virtual visas, not printed on passport. You must, once in the country, be present at immigration offices two times in a period of a month or two, during this time  Ecuadorian Immigration Authority will approve your visa and you cannot travel outside the country. Process to get Ecuador Residency Visa is smooth and easy, it just take a bit of time depending of how many people are getting it during your same request period. Immigration will approve your visa, and then, send you via email. You should print and put into your passport when traveling. If you are interested to take residency in Ecuador, you need to apply for a specific Ecuador  residency visa. Ask for the specific Ecuador Residency Visa that fit your needs is basically simple if you have a good Ecuador Lawyer behind you. Ecuador is a very great and attractive place where live and invest. An Ecuador Residency Visa Lawyer will help you take the right decision. Establishing residency in Ecuador is not difficult if you perfectly understand spanish and bureaucratic system. Residency in Ecuador is a great investment for your family future, as the country is one of the most politically stable in the region, also is the second most safe country in Latin America. Ecuador allows dual-nationality. 

Ecuador is the first residency option when you find democracy and safety in Latin America. 

In addition to facilitating immigration the new immigration law will serve as a new framework to recognize the rights of Ecuadorians living abroad, promote integration and entrepreneurship programs and provide economic and fiscal incentives for their return.

These policies have culminated in the  Human Mobility Law. The first three principles of the law are premonitory:

- Defines Universal Citizenship, as the recognition of the power of the human being to freely mobilize, and the portability of their human rights regardless of their immigration status, nationality, and place of origin, leading to a progressive end of alien status.

- Recognizes the right to exercise universal citizenship, which implies the protection of the State to the mobility of an individual with the intention to remain in the place of destination in a temporary or definitive manner.

- Prohibits the criminalization of mobility, with the absence of criminal sanctions for an individual’s immigration status.

The Ecuador Human Mobility law also contemplates other  Ecuadorian naturalization options:

  • Naturalization for having rendered relevant services to the Republic of Ecuador : At the discretion of the President of the Republic of Ecuador , Ecuador citizenship will be granted after the first year of legal residence to a foreigner, if it is considered that they have rendered relevant services to the country.

  • Ecuadorian Naturalization by marriage or de facto union: a foreigner may apply for citizenship two years after the marriage or de facto union with an Ecuadorian person.

  • Ecuadorian Naturalization by adoption.

  • Naturalization of minors born abroad with an Ecuadorian father and/or mother.

There are many  Ecuador residency visa options available to foreigners whom are moving to Ecuador.


Here as follows are brief yet straight to the point descriptions of each of them:

  1. Ecuador Pensioner Visa (Pensionado): In Ecuador, a pensioner visa requires the applicant to show that they have a steady income from a guaranteed source that is stable and reliable, such as from Social Security or from a city/state or corporate pension. There is a minimum income requirement of $800 a month for a pensioner visa, plus $100 per familiar dependent moving to Ecuador with the Primary Applicant pensioner.

  1. Ecuador Investor (Inversionista): International Investor visas are available for expats who have economic resources and assets that they will use to develop productive or commercial activities. They may invest in either Ecuadorian Real Estate Property or in an Ecuadorian Certificate of Deposit at a bank for at least 100 times the Ecuadorian minimum wage. The current minimum wage in Ecuador is $394 USD per month, and hence the current minimum investment is of $39,400, plus $500 additional per familial dependent moving to Ecuador with the Primary Applicant investor.

  1. Ecuador Professional, Technician, Technologist or Master Craftsman (Profesional): Professionals with a least  four (4) years Bachelor Degree from a recognized college or university can come to the Republic of  Ecuador under this visa in order to develop their profession, technical activity, technological activity, or handcrafted activity, governed under the respective regulation that control these activities, though there is no requirement to work in Ecuador under this class of visa, as in fact many people whom are retired elect to move to Ecuador on this type of visa, which for short has affectionately been referred to by foreigners as the “Professional Visa”.

  1. Ecuador Independent Income/Revenue (Rentista): This visa applies when a person has their own resources (i.e. monthly income) brought to Ecuador from abroad. If they are generating their income from those resources or any other legal income that originates from an external economic source, such as from earned “Rental Real Estate Income”, then they can fall under this type visa,.It is important to remember that any contract that shows the monthly income must be a contract that will attest a monthly income for at least  the next 2 + years.

  1. Ecuador Dependent OR Marriage Visa (Amparo): This visa type is for foreigners who are already married to or will soon marry an Ecuadorian Citizen , as well as for any  Dependents of Ecuadorian Residents whom are moving to (or already have moved) to Ecuador with a foreigner under any one of the other visa types shown in this full listing of 13 such total visa options. This type visa (“Amparo Visa” being its comprehensive general term in referencing all possible permitted classes of familial Dependents), broadly applies to spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, and common-law partners (i.e. Union de Hecho), respectively.

  1. Ecuador Worker (Trabajador) visa: A work visa is for someone who has been authorized to perform paid work in an employee-employer relationship. This applies to work in public service, work in a private industry, and people who are self-employed.

  1. Ecuador Scientist, Researcher or Academic visa: This visa requires the applicant to be specialized in scientific activities, such as working as a researcher, or in academics, and is contracted/hired by public or private entities. It also applies for a person who is part of the Ecuadorian education system who is working in there area of specialty. This visa can be renewed depending on the duration of the academic program.

  1. Ecuador Athlete, Artist or Cultural Agent visa: This visa applies for people who are hired by a natural Ecuadorian person or entity to develop activities of these types.

  1. Ecuador Religious, Religious Volunteer or Missionary of an organization having legal authorization and duly recognized by the Ecuadorian government visa: The religious visa is for a person who will be developing activities related to religion.

  1. Ecuador Volunteer (Voluntario) visa: Volunteer visas apply to people who are, in a voluntary and altruistic way, providing services to the community under the regulations of Ecuador’s Human Mobility Law. They may be working by their own means or with the support of a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), also known as a Not For Profit (or Non-Profit) organization.

  1. Ecuador Student (Estudiante) visa: Student visas are for people who come to Ecuador in order to attend school, whether it is Basic Education, High school education, University education, or Masters level education. They must be a regular student in a private or public educational facility that is recognized by the Ecuadorian government. Student visas are also for people who come to do an internship program in Ecuador. This visa can be renewed based on the duration of the academic program.

  1. Ecuador International Convention (Convenio) visa: This visa is for a person who enters Ecuador under the umbrella of an International convention to which Ecuador has subscribed and recognized (i.e. Mercosur or Unasur, and when/where applicable).

  2. Ecuador International Protection visa: This final visa category is for those who have been recognized by the Ecuadorian government under refugee status, asylum or stateless, and cannot fulfill any of the requirements of the above-mentioned categories. Those persons can also be able to get the migratory status of international protection in Ecuador.

While the above isn’t a fully comprehensive or totally exhaustive list of all the requirements and ways in which someone can become a Resident of Ecuador, it does in my experience cover at least 99% of the respective scenarios and situations that I have personally come across in serving and working with my foreigner clients, for purposes of making Ecuador be and become their new home.

Ecuador Residency Fast FAQS

How do I obtain a temporary residence visa in Ecuador?
It’s quite simple. You just have to apply for one in any Ecuador consulate or embassy, proving sufficient income for subsisting in Ecuador and an absence of criminal records.

How long can I live in Ecuador with a temporary residence visa?
2 years, renewable for 2 more years.

How do I get an Ecuadorean Permanent Residence visa?
After 3 years of continuous legal residence and proving sufficient income and absence of criminal records.

How do I get Ecuadorian citizenship?
After 3 years of continuous legal residence and proving sufficient income and absence of criminal records, besides other requirements.

Do I need a visa to travel to Ecuador?
Probably not, unless you are a citizen of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, and Somalia.

Where can I travel visa-free with an Ecuadorian passport?

You can travel with visa-free or visa-on-arrival to 81 countries, including China and Russia. You will need a visa to travel to the United States, Canada, Schengen countries or Australia.

Is Ecuador a good place to live?
Yes, you can enjoy deserted beaches, modern cities, volcanic mountains, and rainforests. Its gastronomy is healthy, varied and delightful. In the cities, you can find all the same comforts as you would in the western world. It is one of most safe Latin American countries and its healthcare system is one of the best in the region.

How much money do I need to live in Ecuador?
Living in Ecuador is quite cheap. If you live in cities like Quito, Guayaquil or Cuenca, with USD 1,500-1800 you can have a comfortable, worry-free lifestyle. In rural areas, USD 800-1,000 may be enough.

What is the economic situation in Ecuador?
It’s growing, and the outlook is optimistic due to a recovery of oil prices.

What are the investment opportunities in Ecuador?
As with all emerging economies, there are some good investment opportunities. The most interesting sectors are agricultural, real estate, mining, renewable energy, hydrocarbons, agro-industry, telecommunications, logistics infrastructure, tourism, biotechnology, software, plastics, and waste treatment and management.

What is the most common type of company in Ecuador?
The most common types of company are Compañía Limitada, equivalent to a Limited Liability Company, and the Compañía Anónima, equivalent to a Corporation. 

How long does it take to set up a company in Ecuador?
The process lasts around 50 days.

Establishing a company in Ecuador involves a time consuming bureaucratic process. On average, it takes about 50 days to complete. Just the pertinent inspection and the issuance of the operating permit by the corresponding municipality takes a month. The cost will depend on the type of company, its size and the legal assistance hired, but will usually be at least USD 1,500.

To register and start activities of a CIA LTDA, the following steps are mandatory:

  1. Online reservation of the name of the company in the Superintendence of Companies. Less than one day with no associated costs.

  2. Hire an attorney to prepare the constituting contract, the articles of incorporation, the company’s bylaws, and the formation of capital. This takes 1 day, and may cost USD 800-100.

  3. Notarize the documents. 2 days: USD 245 for the first USD 25,000 of initial capital + 0.2% for the rest of the initial capital.

  4. Register the company with the Superintendencia de Compañías, Valores y Seguros. 1 day and a 1% share of the assets.

  5. Inscribe the bylaws, resolutions of the company and the name of the legal representatives of the company in the Oficina de Registro Mercantil (Commercial Registry Office). 5 days and a fee of USD 80.

  6. Request the Registro Unico de Contribuyentes -RUC- (taxpayer registration) to the Servicio de Rentas Internas -SRI-  (National Tax Office). The process is free and takes about 4 days.

  7. Print one original and two copies of 100 pages-book invoices and VAT forms at an authorized printing shop. The cost is usually USD 40.

  8. Sign up online for Instituto Ecuatoriano de Seguridad Social -IESS- (Social Security) and present documents to the agency to obtain the password. 2 days.

  9. Enroll all employee contracts with the Inspectoría de Trabajo (Ministry of Labor). 2 days and no associated costs.

  10. Obtain Patente Municipal (Operation Permit) from the Municipality. The process is free and takes an average of 29 days.

  11. Pay USD 50 for tasa de habilitación (habilitation fee) at municipality.

How much does it cost to set up a company in Ecuador?
Costs may vary according to the type of company, its size and the legal assistance hired. But it could be around USD 1,500.

What is the real estate sector doing in Ecuador?
Demand is growing, as are prices. However, there are still some low prices and good opportunities, and the country still offers Ecuador some of the lowest real estate prices in Latin America. 

What taxes do I have to pay in Ecuador?
The tax burden in Ecuador is considerable. There are multiple tax forms, in addition to corporate tax (22%), personal income tax (up to 35%) and VAT (now at 12%). In Ecuador the following are taxable: inheritances and gifts (up to 35%), money transfers abroad (5%), real estate assets (up to 0.5%), transfers of real estate assets (1%), imports (up to 25%), among others. There are also several local rates that affect urban property and property transfer, rainwater drainage, fire insurance, individual and corporate net worth, state university funds and firefighters.

Easy steps to get residency in Ecuador 

Visa Policy of  Ecuador : on February 6, 2017, Ecuador has changed its   immigration law (Ley de Movilidad Humana) . The new Ecuador Immigration Law was put into full effect. This Ecuador Immigration law brings about several major changes and one of those is the introduction of temporary residency visas.

In the past, foreigners were able to immediately apply for an Ecuador permanent residency visa, but that is no longer the case. Now everyone must first obtain an Ecuadorian temporary residency visa that is valid for two years. This Ecuadorian temporary visa may be renewed one time only. After holding your Ecuador temporary visa for 21 months, you will be eligible to apply for a permanent visa of Ecuador that does not have an expiration date.

Ecuador Temporary visa holders may be out of the country for no more than 90 days per 12-month period. The new Inversionista Residency give you the possibility to be out of the country 180 days per 12-month period. With Ecuadorian permanent visas may be out of the country no more than 180 days total for the first two years. The Ecuadorian Immigration law does not clarify how long permanent residents can be out of the country after the first two years have passed.


Taking residency in Ecuador is simple if you apply for the correct visa and produce the requested documents apostilled. Once documents are done we will translate them for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs . You will receive an appointment at our studio in Guayaquil or Cuenca, and then you will go with our lawyer to the Immigration offices where you will check with authorities the validity of your documents ( they must be entered in Ecuador in a time frame  less than 180 days from the day of their emission ). Then the Authority will make you some easy questions. After one or two weeks you will receive an email from the immigration with your visa approval. This email will show you your date when you must return to these offices to receive your visa.  Remember to sign an Ecuadorian contract with some national Insurance as it is mandatory for this day have a signed contract with an Ecuadorian Health Insurance in order to receive your visa and ID card.We can present you some easy , cheap insurance used for these situations and also we will be with you during the visa application. 

  • Documents submitted for the Ecuador residency program  must be originals or certified (notarized) copies and must be apostilled if your home country is a signatory of the United Nation’s Apostille Convention (the U.S. is; Canada is not). In the U.S., the office of the secretary of state for the state in which the documents are drawn is responsible for applying the apostille stamp.

  • Documents used for apply the Ecuador Residency Visa Program  must be translated into Spanish (do this after you arrive in Ecuador to avoid getting more documents apostilled).We do it for you. 

  • You must register your home address with immigration authorities and report any change of address while living in Ecuador.

Ecuadorian Residency Visa Basic Application 

Ecuador Basic application requirements (all visas)

All visa applications must be submitted with the following:

  • Proof of request for Temporary Residence

  • Completed Visa application form 

  • Present passport with a minimum validity of 6 months (original and copy of the photo page, biographical data and immigration stamp of entry into the country).

  • Original certificate of valid criminal record check, translated and apostilled or legalized. Document required only for persons aged 18 and above.

  • Ecuadorian criminal record issued by the Ministry of the Interior. Document required only in cases of renewal of a temporary residence visa for citizens aged 18 and above.

  • Migratory movement issued by the Ministry of the Interior, with a minimum validity of thirty days from the date of issue.

  • Accredited legal means of living that allow the subsistence of the applicant and his/her dependent family group.

How to take Ecuadorian Cedula or Ecuadorian ID Card 

Once obtained your Ecuador Visa , that is not printed on your passport, but only granted to you via email ( you need to print it and put into your passport when traveling) , it is necessary to receive the Ecuadorian Cedula, or simply the Ecuadorian National Identity Card. The request require precise steps. Once obtained the Ecuador Visa, you have 30 days to request a national Health Insurance  that cover you for the time your visa is valid. With an Insurance Certificate called Certificado de Seguro de Salud, and with your visa in your email, you can request the Orden De  Cedulaciòn, that is the document released by Immigration that order the Ecuadorian Public Registry to release an Id Card for you. In that case it is important to request these documents in that order  

- A Passport Movements Investigation ( we request it for you)

-  A Health Insurance Coverage ( we can ask it for you but must be paid full by you to the insurance service) 

- And with these two documents we will request the Orden de Cedulacion.

Once the order is ready , you , with our lawyer, will go to a Public Registry Office and request the ID Card. We can arrange an appointment  our Office in Ecuador to start the procedure .

Why To Get Ecuador Residency Visa ?

The main reason why expats get Ecuador Residency Visa is for the stable economy and stable political system, actually managed by a pro business, pro private property and open to foreigners Governace. Many Americans and Europeans  are getting Ecuador Residency Visa, as they are focusing their attention on a tropical, happy, safe, rich in nature and culture country that is at same time very cheap and impressive in infrastructure and health system. To gain Ecuador citizenship you only should live for 3 years in the country and the citizenship process in Ecuador is very fast and easy . Ecuador is a very safe and clean place. Sometimes defined the most wild place of Latin America, for its huge and spectacular Andean Mountains, rivers, national parks, volcanoes , deserts, sierras, unforgettable beaches, and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador is the most educates country after Chile, based on the Latin American Educational Ranking . Ecuador is a great place to visit and an incredible choice to live. 

Ecuador is a relatively small country located to the northwest of the South American continent, inhabited by just over 16 million people. However, its just over 283,000 sq. km contains a lot to be seen. 

Bordered by Colombia and Peru by land and Costa Rica by sea, its territory is split by a volcanic section of the Andes mountain range. To the east lies the leafy Amazon Rainforest. To the west, the Gulf of Guayaquil, bathed by the Pacific Ocean and beyond, the incredible natural landscapes of the Galapagos Islands. Colonial old towns, multiculturalism, volcanoes and an exciting flora and fauna – Ecuador is the most bio-diverse country in the world. Ecuador also has preferential access for its products to Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Bolivia. Also, with an agreement with Mercosur countries, exports of close to 4,000 products are tariff-free to Brazil and Argentina.

The Ecuador economy is officially dollarized ; the U.S. currency is the only legal tender since 2001

.Almost twenty years later and the adoption of the US dollar as the national currency has allowed Ecuador to maintain economic stability. The dollar has contributed to a drop in inflation levels and has opened doors for great foreign investments within the local markets, thereby assisting in the region’s economic growth and development. 

The governments drive to integrate the nation in the global economy has resulted in Ecuador entering various strategic regional trade agreements and double taxation avoidance treaties. Thereby allowing for free trade and thus encouraging the growth of national exports – a key part of the recent economic success of Ecuador. Ecuador remains a regional exporting leader in areas such as petroleum and agricultural products (namely bananas, cut flowers, and shrimp). The agricultural sector is one of the most developed national sectors in Ecuador and many global powers, such as the US, China, and Russa have established trade and commercial relations with Ecuador and are key importers of its goods. 

Ecuador is fast and strong economic performer in Latin America, demonstrating consistent economic growth. The  Ecuador government’s pro-business attitude and investment into commercial and public infrastructure in recent years have boosted business and investor confidence. Careful attention has been paid to projects strengthening the country’s airport and port infrastructure, road networks, and fiber-optic coverage.

Ecuador’s hands-on approach to economic growth, along with its US dollar currency, facilitates a welcome environment for foreign investors looking to set up shop. The World Economic Forum ranks Ecuador as one of the fastest developing Latin American countries in recent years, according to its global competitiveness studies. Ecuador is equipped with very modern infrastructure and road systems that are still growing. There are four commercial ports in Guayaquil, Manta, Esmeraldas, and Bolivar as well as 17 private ports. With two international airports, one in Quito and the other in Guayaquil, you will have access to anywhere in the world. Both airports every year gains the Best Latin American Airport Prize . Expats 65 or older enjoy 50% discounts on utilities and cultural events, travel within the country and a 100% refunds on sales taxes.

Here some  external informations about Ecuador from International Living

For Ecuador International Travel Information visit  here

Contact Us

Panama : MMG tower floor 30 ,Costa del  Este , Ciudad de Panama, Panama Republic, 0816 .

Ecuador : Guayaquil , Puerto Santa Ana, Edif. The Point. Floor 1

Mexico:Ciudad de Mexico, Polanco CDMX .


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